Amid unreliable grid and bushfires, John Oddie gained energy resilience and independence without compromising his lifestyle – thanks to the solar system he installed.
When John realized that his new home didn’t have a reliable power supply from the grid, his first solution was to install a generator like many other people living in a similar situation. But soon, he found that the generator he had wasn’t sufficient enough replacement of the grid. That’s when he installed his first solar and storage system, using Schneider Electric’s XW+ hybrid inverter.
The single-phase XW+ system with an 11 kW solar array worked well for about two years. John could save quite a significant amount of electricity bill every quarter. He also liked that XW+ had seamless transitions when the grid went out, and he often even didn’t notice the outages until his neighbours told him.
The next thing that came along was bushfires. Due to the smoke, solar energy production was dramatically diminished, causing him substantial power supply interruptions.
Exact Tech Australia (XactTech) decided to upgrade the existing domestic scale system to a light industrial scale to build a more robust power capacity and a foundation for innovation in remote and distributed energy solutions. XactTech already had substantial experience with Schneider Electric by the time and was confident that Schneider Electric Solar’s technology is mature with an assured engineering foundation. Schneider Electric offers systems to minimise cyberattacks and handles harsh environmental conditions.
XactTech upgraded the existing single-phase XW+ system to a 3-phase XW Pro and single-phase XW+ system, increasing the solar array from 11 kW to 22 kW and the storage from 22 kWh to 52 kWh. Taking advantage of the XW series’ flexible design, they also upgraded the generator from 6 kVA (4.5 kW) single phase to 40 kVA (30 kW) 3 phase.
The new system included three XW Pro hybrid inverters, two Conext™ MPPT 80 600 charge controllers, the Gateway and Insight for energy management, Conext System Control Panel, and Battery Monitor.
“The big thing here is that we’re able to be independently and resiliently off the grid. But we’re not in any way moderating living conditions and lifestyle as well as productivity. Schneider Electric systems work reliably right out of the box and are readily integrated with automated site performance and management software. We trust Schneider Electric systems to work hard and deliver reliability.”
— John Oddie, Managing Director, XactTech
The new solar and storage system provides enough power to handle heavier loads, such as electric hot water systems, while charging batteries during the daytime. On full production days, the system exports ~40 kWh daily and supports loads of ~50 kWh daily.
The customer found that Schneider Electric was responsive to technical requirements and keen to deliver a reliable and trusted system. John is excited to have sufficient power to heat hot water on most days and is ready for trial and demonstration of enhanced energy storage systems. The system provides enough power with no constraints on load demand. His next step is to achieve the goal of 12 kW load on one selected phase through slave integration of the heritage XW+ hybrid inverter.
Watch the video, Customer Story of Energy Resilience: John Oddie, highlighting his journey of gaining energy independence and the XW Pro he installed.